Cocoa price lift hits chocoholics

Shane WrightThe West Australian

Sweet tooths and chocoholics, start saving now - prices for chocolate are about to go up.

In the past five months, the cost of cocoa beans has jumped almost a third, driven higher by dry weather in prime growing regions and strong demand.

Futures markets are pointing towards even higher prices with the coming season's West African crop likely to be smaller than expected.

In March, a tonne of cocoa beans cost a little more than $2000. Now it is approaching $2900, pushed up by higher global prices and the lower Australian dollar.

Yallingup-based Gabriel Chocolate has already noticed the sharp rise in bean prices.

Owner Gabriel Myburgh said there had been a double whammy in recent months that would probably find its way into all chocolate prices. When he last bought a container load of beans, the dollar was well above parity against the US dollar while beans were substantially cheaper. "Since then both have gone up," he said.

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